Poinsettias, Euphorbis pulcherrima, are the most popular potted plants in the country and every holiday season over 70 million Poinsettias are soil at a value surpassing 250 million dollars. Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were discovered and cultivated by the Aztecs. It was a symbol of purity to the Indians. Poinsettias were first introduced in the US in 1825 by the renowned botanist Joel Roberts Poinsett.
Poinsettias are tropical plants that bloom annually when the days get shorter and the nights longer. The showy, colorful tops of these Christmas plants are actually modified leaves called bracts. The bloom is the much smaller center with the yellow stamen being noticeable when in full bloom. Red Poinsettias are by far the most popular color as a symbol of Christmas. They also come in many other colors and color combinations.Poinsettia do best indoors in a bright location with good natural light. These are tropical plants, so if you decide to put them outdoors be sure to move them indoors when the temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Water the soil of Poinsettias when they become dry to the touch. They do not like to stay wet, be sure to drain any excess water out of the sleeve or pot cover.
For years Poinsettias have had the stigmas as a highly poisonous plant. However, Poinsettias have undergone extensive testing by professionals and there is no evidence that they are toxic or unsafe to have in your house. One thing to be careful of is their milky sap that will appear if any stems are broken. Many people's skin can be sensitive to the sap so it's always a good idea to wash your hands immediately if this white substance gets on your skin.